The construction of the building was first overseen by an architect named Arnolfo di Cambio. However, he died in 1302, only 6 years after the start of the construction.
From this point until 1331, construction slowed considerably. That was until the Arte della Lana (guild of wool manufacturers and merchant) took over and became the team responsible for the construction of The Duomo.
However, after a few years, the Arte della Lana then passed the responsibility onto a number of other architects.
This continued until 1418, when construction of the Florence Cathedral had reached a point where problem of building the dome needed to be solved.
The Competition for the Dome
In 1419, architects and designers were summoned from all over Italy to compete for the right to finish the Duomo, especially the dome.
So the contest focused on creating a plan to build a massive dome without using buttresses (which required wood that was in short supply).
The winner was Filippo Brunelleschi, who surprisingly had no formal training in architecture at the time. He was a goldsmith and sculptor.
When word spread that Brunelleschi was going to design the dome, much of Italy mocked him and believed he would fail.
However, after 16 years he finished the dome. He proved them wrong and created one of the most stunning works in architecture the world had ever seen.
His winning idea was to create a self supporting double shelled dome (which contained two separate domes: an inner dome and outer dome).
The interior of the Dome
The interior of the dome is as equally beautiful as the exterior. It features detailed frescoes depicting the Last Judgement of Christ.
It was started by Giorgio Vasari and then completed by Federico Zuccaro around 1579.
In summation, the Florence Cathedral complex is an absolutely amazing design that is considered one of Italy’s finest works of architecture.
Its dome is to this day is one of the largest in the world (and remains the largest brick dome in the world).
If one ponders the amount of creativity, manpower, and effort it took to create this amazing building, it instills a faith in humanity.
A feeling that humanity has the power to create almost anything we set our minds to.